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The Top 10 Things I Learned in 2009

Well folks, another great year has come to an end and it would be all for nothing if we don’t take a moment and consider what we learned, how we grew, and how we will grow because of it. For this reason I am compiling a list of the Top 10 Things I learned this past year.

  1. Social Media is like a Steroid: Social Media is a great accelerator, regardless of you being a good or a bad networker it will speed up your results, as such either a lot more people will know like and trust you, or a lot more people will wish they never met you and want nothing to do with you.
  2. Application is Key: It is one thing to learn a whole bunch of cool tips, but it’s an entirely other thing to actually apply them. Without application you will never truly learn your craft, you will simply be a collector of facts without a clue of how they apply to your life and which facts you are more adept to work with.
  3. “Collaboration Kills Competition”: Working with UnStrapped.com and being in Social Media Altitude taught me this one. When you work in a group of like minded people looking to achieve a similar end result you are far more likely to outperform and crush your competition. Working alone limits your to your own ingenuity and limits your ability to achieve maximum results.
  4. Punctuality is Next to Godliness: Something I’m still having trouble with myself but have learned first hand is to always be 5 minutes early, and ready to go when class is in session, the meeting starts, or the phone rings. If you are not ready to meet your opportunities you are not likely to ever receive them, you will burn bridges which are harder to mend and you will loose the respect of your friends, family, and clients. Believe me, you don’t want to drop the ball.
  5. Implementing Plans is Key: You can plan the rest of your life all year and never achieve success if you never take the first step. Stop making plans and goals and start making action items to move you closer to achieving your goals. As my favorite fortune cookie says, “Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get ran over if you just sit there.” Get out and DO something this year!
  6. You Control Your Emotions: Sometimes it is hard to believe that you decide to be happy, angry, and sad but you really do. You may think that something good or bad happened and because of that you are happy or sad, but in reality, how you reacted to said event determined what you felt in response to it. Always approach bad situations looking for the silver lining, always remember, even a failure is a success if you learn from it.
  7. You Become Your Environment: We have all heard “You are what you eat.” And a few of us have heard that “the five people you surround yourself are a reflection of your true self”. But how many of us actually take this as truth and use it to improve our lives? If you surround yourself with low achievers and generally negative people, you will start to act like them, alternatively if you surround yourself with successful people who are generally positive you will start to act like them. This is why your parents always obsess(ed) over the crowd you spent your time with. Think about it, who are the five people you are closest with; how much do you act like them? How similar do you all think? Get the picture?
  8. Do What You Love: I have the fortunate opportunity of an obvious hobby to allow me to pursue my passion of yo-yoing, but if you don’t have a big out there hobby or sport you love it can be hard to find out what your passion is. Once you do find it however, make it your mission to it all the time and spread your enthusiasm with it. It may not have been possible back in the 1900’s with big media but in the 2000’s with social media, you have no excuse not to be doing what you love for your living. If you’re not doing what you love you’ll be miserable and unmotivated, monetary incentive can only push you so far, true passion will push you over the edge.
  9. Always Read, Always Write: As one of my mentors once recited to me, “You should always be carrying the book you are reading in one hand and the book you are writing in the other.” It’s a powerful bit of information you will probably initially take for granted, “Why on earth should we be reading and writing? Don’t we live in the 2000’s with facebook, myspace, youtube, and online TV?” I have discovered that by reading (actually READING) a book it creates more of an impact on your life simply because you have to dedicate your full attention to a book to comprehend it. Writing on the other hand gives you an opportunity to put down what you learned and allows you to reflect. Going back in what you have written gives you an opportunity to grow.
  10. Look for Mentors: You can NEVER have enough mentors, period, end of story. You will always need someone who knows you and is looking out for your best interests around to keep you in check. You need people in your life who are willing to spit the brutal truth in your face and give you CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Without these people to look up to and bounce ideas off to you’ll be running around in the dark with a dead flashlight. If you don’t know who should be your mentor think about what you want to do. If you want to be the best dancer in the world you better find yourself another dancer who has more experience who is willing to take you under their wing. If you want to be the best entrepreneur around you better surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who HAVE achieved success. Find the one who stands out among the rest and ask them if they’d be willing to mentor you.
  11. The Bonus Tip: The one thing that holds us back most is the fear of what would happen, if you want to get a job you have to ask, if you want to get a girlfriend or a boyfriend you have to ask, if you want to get that raise you have to ask. We as a group generally fear rejection, but if you can push past that initial fear and simply ask for what you want, you are leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else who didn’t.
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Was in the Newspaper

Had a long day at work today, not long as in boring or annoying, just long; From 9am to 5:30pm. Haven’t gotten to work on the yo-yo club stuff today but will a little bit tonight and more tomorrow through this weekend.

Anyways! Yesterday I was down at True Value Hardware catching up with my old co-workers and one of them mentioned I was in the news paper again, so I ran and got a copy and sure enough I was in the paper for the Yo-Yo Show I did at the annual Emmett City Police’s Children’s Christmas Party. 🙂 I didn’t write a post about it before because I didn’t have any pictures but with this write up in the paper I guess I do now! It was a really fun night, got there early, around 5:30pm and chatted with a few of the police officers who were setting things up, showed them a few tricks and then waited for the kids to show up.

(click to see full article)

Once the kids were there I hopped on stage and did a short yo-yo freestyle to music (My Christmas List by Simple Plan) which undoubtedly went over their heads (most of the tricks I do well are complicated or fast for yo-yo contests) so I followed up with a Question and Answer session and went around the room with the microphone asking encouraging the kids to ask questions and then answering them or performing a trick that was requested. Was a really fun time, I learned a lot more about involving the audience at this one event than I have at any others (also learned its better to have a mic when working with little kids, gives them something to wait to talk into, rather than shouting out questions out of turn.) 🙂

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Wheels are in Motion

2010 is coming and I’m ready to hit the ground running; in fact considering the wheels are already in motion I can probably just stay the course. I have privately had a goal for a few months now to influence the lives of 1mill people by teaching them how to yo-yo, I’ve started a few yo-yo related sites thinking they were in line with that goal only to realize lately that they simply took the role of the distraction. Faintly resembling my passion but different enough that I would loose interest in them. Those of you who have visited yoyotv.net or twinepitched.com lately will have noticed this.

Well here’s where things are changing. I know how I can change my industry for the better and get rid of the 10 year fad cycle the yo-yo world has. I’m going to start working to build an international network of yo-yo CLUBS that provide support for new yo-yoers. I’m going to create a system that will allow someone to pick up a binder with everything they need and create a club without even knowing how to yo-yo themselves and do it in short time. This will be the key to achieving my goal, outsourcing the initiation and organization of the clubs, and I’m going to assume that if they use my material to learn to yo-yo I’ll get some of the credit for them learning and will move closer to my goal 🙂

Here’s where things are now:

  • First club is established and functioning in Emmett, ID and has an average of 12 members on a weekly basis.
  • www.worldyoyoclub.com has be purchased and is in development, it will be used to spread information about the organization, give club members access to tutorials, a store with discounts for club members and more discounts for clubs to resell for fund raising, it will have a community system to it, allowing people to communicate locally with their own club or globally with other members from all over the world.
  • Five trick lists have been created from Beginner to Master to gauge each members level of development (eventually when a member graduates from one list to another they will receive an award like a certificate, yo-yo, shirt, etc).
  • The first book to aid with the trick lists has been written and is titled Learn to Throw, a beginner’s course in Yo-Yoing. With a little more work it will be ready to publish. Ultimately there will be five books, one for each list, and an extra instructors book explaining how to run a club, teach a class, make a club contest, etc.
  • Our second club is set to be established shortly after the New Year at the Caldwell Center for the Arts.

This mission of mine will effectively dissolve all my other yo-yo related websites and absorb all the relevant information from them. I will achieve this milestone by 2015, 2010 will be focused on development of the organization (creation of training materials, organizational structure, rules, etc) and the initiation of a few pilot clubs in Idaho and when materials are ready will be expanded to other states. 2011 through 2015 will be focusing on club creation. From there it’s just a matter of time.

Thank you for reading, if you’re interested in helping me with the project let me know in a comment and we can move discussion further elsewhere.

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Thank God for Lights!

Wow, today was great! Did a little cleaning, met with Melissa at the 4H Extension office for a bit, did some work at Copy + and then got home to find that the switch that turns on the lights at lets me signal left or right in my car had just shown up in the mail!

To me this was fairly exciting, I didn’t get to read much like I had planned to but I’ll take care of that after I post this. Been working my way through “Make Today Count” and I find it to be a really good book, it had some answers for me that I had been looking for lately within the first two chapters.

Also just got off the phone with Brad, talking a little bit about UnStrappd but mostly about passion and business stuff; picked something out of the conversation that really resonated with me. Basically if what I’m doing wont have a radical change in my industry why do it? Sure it may make a few bucks here or there but ultimately I should be focusing on bigger things. I’m still learning the ropes though I’ve been at this over two years now, being responsible and punctual in business is difficult when you’re not use to it. And I’m not even talking about what we took away from school, but even how we act with our friends. If you blow off your friends it’ll probably translate over into your business, work, school, etc.

I’m sorry to say I have done that; I’m happy to say I’m making a conscious effort to rectify that. When friends call I make sure to call them back, when they text I text back, if they want to hang out I show up. Maybe this doesn’t sound too difficult to some of you but as my buddy Talon can attest to, I have had major troubles with this in the past.

So that was basically my day, ultimately good; taking time to reflect and focus myself. I know I have a great way to change my industry (yo-yo). I just need to find people to join in to make it happen. I’ll talk about it more later, Have a great evening everyone! 🙂

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Awesome Sunday

Woke up a little late today but it turned out pretty good; ended up being the driver of a few of my friends to Boise to go to the Ice Skating Rink but (we found out only after getting there that public skating isn’t until 7pm) we ended up going to the mall instead to kill some time.

The girls went to Macy’s to get hats and sweaters and after a few minutes I decided to go to Borders, ended up picking a few new books up (I really shouldn’t have, I still have books from 6 months ago I haven’t touched yet), Two of them are by John Maxwell, one called “Make Today Count” and “How Successful People Think”. The third is by Chris Brogan and it’s called “Success Agents”. I’d seen a few people talking about that book on Facebook and Twitter and decided it might be worth the 25 bucks to check it out. 🙂 One book I forgot to grab while I was there that I’ve been wanting for some time now is called the E-Myth, (or Entrepreneur Myth), I hear it’s really good, basically about how entrepreneurs approach business, learning to outsource tasks, etc.

Eventually we ended up at Edwards Cinema’s and I got to watch the new Sherlock Holmes movie which was AWESOME! 🙂 Wouldn’t mind seeing it again and from what the previews at the movie were showing there will be a lot of amazing movies coming out in 2010, might have to go check some of them out.

Hope you all had a great Sunday as well, see you tomorrow! 🙂

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The Yo-Yoing Entrepreneur

It’s been awhile since I’ve actively used my home base (this blog), I’m typically over on Facebook socializing and having fun; but lately I’ve been focusing on improving myself and making my life into what I want it to be. Being that it’s almost the new year I’m sure some of you will be making some crazy-awesome new years resolution I can imagine some of you might understand what I’m going through.

Anyways! I have decided to make my site into my online journal. Basically if you come around here you’ll catch small snippets into the life of the yo-yoing entrepreneur from Idaho (who is about to turn 20 on the 5th of January I might add). I’ll occasionally do the how-to’s that I like to do, whether they are about yo-yoing, social media, or web development. I’ll let you know what’s going on in my personal life (oooooohh… so scary) and what I’m doing in my businesses.

But this my friends is my first goal and I’m starting it early and I’m stealing it from Brandy who I ‘met’/stumbled across on twitter (see her site here: http://revolutionbybrandy.blogspot.com/). She did (or tried to do) a solid month of blogging, once a day. And I can see the value in that, learning how to come up with something to say or share every day can be hard and I want to learn how to do it. So Brandy, thanks for the idea, now I just gotta meet you so I can get out of your stinking, ‘Doesn’t Exist’ list on twitter! (She seriously put me in a “doesn’t exist” list! http://twitter.com/brandyinboise/tweeps-who-don-t-exist)

Happy Holiday’s Folks!